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Old 11-04-2006, 12:49 PM   #1
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I caused a short in one room - now what?


I'm looking for some advice on this scenario - I caused a short in one room of my house yesterday. I had a damp paper towel and was wiping dirt off one of those rocker type light switches. As I was cleaning the switch plate I heard a little "zztt" sound and the light went out. So I then went to the fuse box and saw that none of the circuits were tripped. But I went ahead and flipped the switch for that room thinking that would take care of the problem, but it didn't. None of the outlets or overhead lights work in that room now. I guess my next step is to call an electrician on Monday. I realize some moisture got into the switch and caused the short. But why didn't flipping the switch in the fuse box reset it? If anyone could kindly explain what happened and offer any suggestions, I would appreciate it. I (obviously) have very little electrical knowledge.
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:35 PM   #2
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I caused a short in one room - now what?


I can assure you that you didn't short out that switch by wiping it off with a damp paper towel. I think you (or the electrician) will find that there is a loose connection in the switch's box, and you made it declare itself by the pressure of scrubbing it.
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Old 11-04-2006, 05:25 PM   #3
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I caused a short in one room - now what?


I had not thought about the scrubbing pressure causing the problem - interesting. But your comment reminded me that about a year after we moved into the house (new construction) when I plugged something into one of the wall outlets in this same room, everything shut down. We were still under warranty then and the electrician found a short in another outlet, which he said was the starting point of the wiring for that room, so everything after that outlet wouldn't work.
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Old 11-05-2006, 08:59 AM   #4
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I caused a short in one room - now what?


I find that facing east while sacrificing an electrician always seems to satisfy the electron gods and restore power.

Failing that, I think MD is right, you have a loose wire. (well, your switch does, you might have, but I have no proof of that. I know I have a few loose wires.)

GL
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Old 11-07-2006, 11:32 PM   #5
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I caused a short in one room - now what?


Could it be that it goes through a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interupter outlet)? That it has tripped out rather than a breaker?
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Old 11-08-2006, 08:25 AM   #6
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I caused a short in one room - now what?


If you know which outlet is the starting point, just loose out that outlet (when main swith is off), pull thing out, and have a look and then use voltmeter to check for voltage (or other hot wire tester) when turning on the switch... you should be able to figure out some logic after doing that...
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Old 11-08-2006, 04:02 PM   #7
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I caused a short in one room - now what?


Luke - There aren't any GFCI outlets in the room (a bedroom). It turned out to be a bad outlet. So after that was replaced everything works. This is the second outlet that has went bad in that room, which makes me a little suspicious.
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